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gas to electric v-box conversion

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by Matthew Bowman, Apr 8, 2003.

  1. I have had it with the gas powered spreader! I want electric! I'm sure everyone knows exactly what I'm talking about. I want to convert my gas powered V-box over to electric instead of buying a new one, anyone ever done this? I think that the conveyor chain speed needs to be geared down. Is this true, and how much? I was also wondering what are the specifics on the electric motor & what do you guys recommend? Any help will be greatly appreciated so I don't have to "wing it".
  2. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman Banned
    Messages: 2,133

    I did it.

    I will send you an e-mail if you PM me the specs of your unit.
  3. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    Matt, you've got a company right in your home town that can probably do the conversion for you, Tarrant Mfg.

    They're great people to deal with, I bought a sander from them and was impressed with their personal service. They've got all the equipment to turn out the big jobs, but are still small enough to provide custom service.
  4. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    Im thinking of doing this swap myself. I have an infinite supply of .9Hp 12V electric starter/generators.I wonder if these will work,Because i have a small V box(only 6.5" wide chain). and a 5hp briggs nowe .I think i can get away without changing the gear box.These motors i have use a single V belt drive. i wonder if these will not slip ,since its always wet back in the spreader motor box,fromt he road mist.
  5. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman Banned
    Messages: 2,133

    John. I used a 1/2 hp motor on mine. Smith and Downeaster use a 1/3 hp motor I think. RPMs and mathcing gears are important to get the right speed. I used chains and sprockets more for durability and peace of mind. I played with a few different sprockets on the motor until I got the ratio right.
  6. Pelican, I don't think that Tarrant builds any electric sanders, only gas, or hydraulic. I could be wrong.
    John, I believe that the new Western V-boxes are belt driven, I don't think that the belt would give you any troubles, it may even be a better set up if done correctly.
    Ct18fireman, what specs do you need?
  7. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    Thanks guys. I have these .9Hp motors,brand new so no sense paying god money for a smaller motor. Ill just run some #6 wire to the rear,and use a Ford starter soleniod,that should do the trick. As far as gearing goes I need to figure that out yet.
  8. cat320

    cat320 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,224

    Matt Tarrant does make an electric one .Go to there site it is listed.
  9. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    John, you'll need a golf cart solenoid, (wonder where you could find one of those?) the Ford type will burn out with constant duty. Been there, done that.
  10. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    Pelican,that ought to be easy to find,it will go along great with my gold cart starter:D :D .
  11. Jerre Heyer

    Jerre Heyer Senior Member
    Messages: 948

    John, Jumped on the thread to offer some help but CT and Pelican already beat me to it. The downeaster units run electric upto 8' box. Chains and gears eliminate slip but at the cost of the motor. You've got a good supply so no problems there.

    The golf cart or continuous duty solenoid is a must. You want to check the motors for max amp draw under load and size for that. Could be as high as 200amp. Also the #6 wire may be too small for your application.


    p.s. If you have the rpm of the gas motor do a gear size calculation to find the shaft rpm for the chain and spinner drives. Those smaller electric motors can have very high rpm free spin but you will find they will load down to a lower running rpm. This may be available on the operation charts. Then do the calculation to get it down to the rpm from the gas motor.
  12. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    Thanks Jerre! I need to count the links of my chain sprockets i have now. I know the briggs 5hp ran at 2500 rpm max,I turned it up to 2850:D . I cant leave anything alone;) . The Briggs is running good now,but Im getting tired of the problems keeping it running lately. None of them are the engine either,its the starter motors,and my guys dont know how to start it without flooding it(overchoking) it. It works fine when I use it.
  13. Jerre Heyer

    Jerre Heyer Senior Member
    Messages: 948

    Just like a vehicle. Never fails when you take it to the shop for service. Don't find anything wrong. Head home it conks out. They come to get you and it works fine..LOL

    I know you drive them so you should enjoy the humor here.

    Got a Dodge HD with Cummings in the other day. Meyer mount and had been making a strange clunk when driving but not plowing. Customer took it in for inspection. Drag link, tie rod ends and other goodies. $1200.00 Said clunk was gone.

    Customer headed home and clunk was still there. Took it back and the said the center link was worn out. Replace that and customer picked it back up. ( puzzled that the center link would have passed inspection if it was bad ) and at the extra bill.

    Headed home and the clunk was still there.

    Trip #3. They called him to tell him the front sway bar was hitting the plow frame bolt on the Drivers side. This was causing the clunk. They didn't know how to fix it. Customer picked it up and called to have the "plow" frame looked at.

    Checked the sway bar and the drop rods were at an angle and the bushing were almost gone. Funny the dealer couldn't fix that interference problem with the plow frame. $4.95 in parts.

  14. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    Jerre , thats typical here too. A friend with a 98 Ram.Cummins went in for an oil change at a Dodge dealer(name withheld)before Xmas,picked his truck up and it went dead that night. It wasnt charging. I'm sure Wyldman already knows what happened:D ,but anyway,they tow it in,and tell him the batteries are bad,Ok replace them,they do,tell him its ready. He pays,picks it up, even tells them the volt guage is reading 12 volts,not 14 like normal. They said its OK,take it. It dies again,they replace the batterys again,., then they put a new alt on it.Still not charging,so they re-flash the PCM,still not charging. they cant fix it,so the keep it over the Xmas holiday.He went without his plow truck as we got blasted with 2 ft of wet snow over Xmas.It takes them a few more days to figure out the fuse blew for the alt,probably when the "tech" changing the oil shorted out the filter wrench on the alt lug changing the oil. The truck went in for a simple oil change and was there week,and down for that big storm. Any mechanic worth anything would have figured this problem out in under 10 minutes,yet we have to go thru this ordeal,not to mention the downtime,and wasted money involved from incompetent "techs" throwing parts at a truck because they are not capable of diagnosing the problem.
  15. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    Seen quite a few of those John.Even had the local dealer here call me as he knows I'm a Cummins gearhead.They had replaced both batteries,2 alternators,2 PCM's (they control the alt field on these trucks),and it still wouldn't charge.When I asked if they had done and oil change,he said yes,and ever since it wouldn't charge.They had done the same thing,and blown the alt fuse.

    I was also going to mention the Ford solenoid won't hold up too,but they beat me to it.My booster battery cart used to have one,but if you left it engaged for more than a few minutes or so,poof,it's dead.

    A lot of the OTR trucks use continuous duty solenoids,which can be had cheap at truck parts houses.

    I'd be interested to hear how these conversions come out,as we have quite a few customers with troublesome v-box motors.A lot of it is just operator error,as they are very finiky,but it would be nice to offer a viable solution to these guys,and make a few bucks doing so.
  16. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman Banned
    Messages: 2,133

    Mine workds perfectly. It is smooth and quiet.

    I ran 4 guage wire on mine, to run the motor and some additional lighting. I tend to overdo things but it works well. I used a heavy duty plug (similiar to fleet battery hookups) to conect the spreader to the truck wiring. Been used two years now. The motors are sealed and weatherproof and mine is inside in the off season.

    The best part is being able to load and hookup in about 5 minutes. No service or testing needed.
  17. Well, the V-box is working very well with 12v power instead of gas. The conversion was much easier than I thought, no troubles, and a pretty quick deal. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is sick of messing with their gas motors. Total cost was around $350, much cheaper than I thought. We will soon see how well it works when we get some salting weather - I am looking forward to flipping the switch and salting away with no gas engine hassles.
  18. Snowtraxx

    Snowtraxx Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    Just a tid-bit on the golf cart solonoid... white-rogers 12v unit that yamaha uses is rated at 200A continuous and 600A max..sounds like you probably know the specs though
  19. Chaser13114

    Chaser13114 Senior Member
    Messages: 103

    I built a v box sand a few years ago. I still use it today and it is my best running unit. I used a 3 hp Military surplus motor that I found a line on with all belt drive from there. Mine does get wet from the snow melting but the belts work fine. The only time they slip is when a large stone getts caught in the spinner. I had a lot of problem with bridging on my old sander so I made the chain of this one extra wide (16") to help eliminate that. It is 6 feet long and has plenty of power even with a heeping load. I think your .9 hphp motor with belt drive would work fine with much less hassle.

  20. OK Ok, I know this is an OLD post. However, doing a search I thought this was very interesting. Anyway John, did you get this swap out completed? How does it work if you did?

    Would a person be able to purchase from your infinite supply of motors?:drinkup: